Today, Iowa Governor Chet Culver said that he won’t sign a budget that shortchanges schools.

“I want to make this clear (where have we heard this before?).  I will not sign a budget that doesn’t include the funding Iowa’s schools deserve.”

Does anybody else find it laughable that Governor Culver is making statements like this since it was his mismanagement of Iowa’s budget that led to the problem to begin with?  He has set the new standard for fiscal mismanagement.  It is understandable that he has to have some sound byte to use to defend his train wreck of a career that started with his inability to manage money even as Iowa’s Secretary of State.

Then I’m *sure* that his across the board cuts had nothing to do with our current woes.  His approach to the budget crisis seemed to be nothing but wishful thinking, as far as, education cuts and property taxes go.  Perhaps he’s realizing that his approach to budget cuts that impact education will do nothing but raise property taxes which Republican leadership in the Senate and House have warned.  Obviously the earlier race to the federal education trough won’t do much to remedy the problem.

But hey, at least we aren’t as bad off as other states, right?  I’m also sure that the Legislative Democrats rejection of common sense cuts didn’t contribute to this problem either.

Republican Gubernatorial candidate, Bob Vander Plaats, said in a statement today that it is time for real reform in our education system.

I’ve said countless times since Chet Culver ordered the across-the-board cuts that a 12-year-old could’ve ordered an across-the-board cut.  We need real reform and leadership that is focused on consistently increasing results from our schools. That means we need to get rid of this governor who puts our schools on a yo-yo-diet of spending increases, across-the-board cuts and then throws an election-year tantrum for more spending.

Vander Plaats then notes the lack of reform in a system wants to just follow the minimum standards of accountability.

I know the argument against teacher testing is that they receive excellent preparation at our state universities but that doesn’t cover every teacher in every instance. Iowa’s math scores for eighth graders have fallen from first to 28th since 1992.  Clearly, the current approach isn’t working. I’ll be a governor who fixes the system instead of being one who thinks the only answer is to throw more money at it.

Private schools and home educators have been able to accomplish more with less, so money isn’t the problem, at least not entirely.  So even if public schools gets the money they hope for they will still have a broken system.

But don’t look for Culver, Legislative Democrats or the ISEA to do anything about that.  Just ask for more money, because, “it’s for the children” after all (and forget the fact they’re reason public schools are currently underfunded).

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